Viñales on pole as qualifying cancelled

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 26th March, 2017 - 5:17am

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Maverick Viñales will start from pole

Maverick Viñales has been awarded pole position for the Qatar Grand Prix after qualifying was cancelled due to rain.

The Saturday program was cancelled in its entirety due to standing water at the Losail circuit, after heavy overnight rain and further falls during the day.

The starting grid has however been determined by the combined results of the first three practice sessions.

Officials had attempted to run the qualifying day program as normal, plus an extra 20-minute practice session for MotoGP riders to familiarise themselves with the conditions.

That session was cancelled and the rest of the night’s running delayed and eventually cancelled when the track did not dry in time.

In three dry free practice sessions, Viñales had set the pace in FP1 and FP3, while Scott Redding topped FP2 on a green track after rain earlier that Friday.

Viñales will share the front row on his Yamaha race debut with his factory Suzuki replacement Andrea Iannone and defending world champion Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda.

Redding will start sixth in the grid on his Pramac Ducati.

Valentino Rossi is 10th for the factory Yamaha and his former team-mate Jorge Lorenzo 12th for the factory Ducati team.

Australian Jack Miller will grid up in 16th on his Marc VDS Honda.

The status of the race, set down for Sunday night local time (0500 AEDT), remains uncertain, with the possibility that organisers will move the 22-lap encounter to an afternoon timeslot.

The Qatar Grand Prix has been run as a night race since 2008 but never in the wet due to concerns over visibility, and the 2009 race was even postponed to the Monday night because of rain.

However, testing conducted by Loris Capirossi and Franco Uncini in February left organisers confident that a wet night race could take place, and Michelin has brought wet tyres to the desert track for the first time.

Starting grid: Qatar Grand Prix

Pos Team Rider Nation Bike
1 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP M.VIÑALES SPA YAMAHA
2 Team SUZUKI ECSTAR A.IANNONE ITA SUZUKI
3 Repsol Honda Team M.MARQUEZ SPA HONDA
4 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 J.ZARCO FRA YAMAHA
5 Ducati Team A.DOVIZIOSO ITA DUCATI
6 OCTO Pramac Racing S.REDDING GBR DUCATI
7 Repsol Honda Team D.PEDROSA SPA HONDA
8 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 J.FOLGER GER YAMAHA
9 LCR Honda C.CRUTCHLOW GBR HONDA
10 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP V.ROSSI ITA YAMAHA
11 OCTO Pramac Racing D.PETRUCCI ITA DUCATI
12 Ducati Team J.LORENZO SPA DUCATI
13 Pull&Bear Aspar Team A.BAUTISTA SPA DUCATI
14 Reale Avintia Racing L.BAZ FRA DUCATI
15 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini A.ESPARGARO SPA APRILIA
16 EG 0,0 Marc VDS J.MILLER AUS HONDA
17 Pull&Bear Aspar Team K.ABRAHAM CZE DUCATI
18 Team SUZUKI ECSTAR A.RINS SPA SUZUKI
19 EG 0,0 Marc VDS T.RABAT SPA HONDA
20 Reale Avintia Racing H.BARBERA SPA DUCATI
21 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini S.LOWES GBR APRILIA
22 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing P.ESPARGARO SPA KTM
23 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing B.SMITH GBR KTM